CenturyLink Law Enforcement Support

FAQs For Customers

Last Updated: February 1, 2013

Law Enforcement Support Home

Welcome to the LES FAQ Page designed for CenturyLink Customers.

As a CenturyLink customer, you are looking for assistance or information about yourself.

Please select a FAQ below. You can also utilize your browser's Find function, or our webpage Search function located on the top right hand side of this page, to locate keywords throughout the document. The keyword or phrase found will be highlighted throughout the page content.

Who do I contact if I want to report threatening, abusive, or obscene calls?

Always contact your local Law Enforcement Agency and they will contact CenturyLink for assistance.

In addition to contacting Law Enforcement, you may consider CenturyLink's Call Trace feature.

The *57 feature can be used at any time, but will only trace the last incoming call. There is no required amount of time that the caller needs to be on the line; there simply needs to be a connection made.

To trace a call, hang up from the call. Pick the phone back up and be sure to obtain a clear dial tone. Dial *57 and listen to the recorded information provided. The recording will not provide the calling party's phone number; it will only indicate whether or not you've had a successful trace.

If you hear a fast busy instead of a recording, please speak with a CenturyLink customer service representative to check the availability of the Call Trace feature. Business Office numbers can be found on your CenturyLink bill, on CenturyLink.com, and My Account.

There is a per use fee applied when you successfully trace a call. Fees vary per state. Please contact the Business Office for more information on rates. If the trace was not successful, there is no charge.

The Call Trace feature will also trace calls that are intentionally being blocked by the caller. That means that Private, Blocked or Restricted calls can be traced. Unknown, Unavailable or Out of Area calls cannot be traced.

Once you have traced the call, contact your local Law Enforcement Agency. The trace results will only be released to a Law Enforcement Agency with a subpoena or court order. A successful trace will include the phone number captured and if that phone number is serviced by CenturyLink, the name and address will be released. If your Law Enforcement Agency has any questions regarding this process, please have them call the CenturyLink Law Enforcement Support team at 877-451-1980.

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What can I do about hang up calls?

Hang up calls are often from telemarketers with auto dialing devices that sometimes call more numbers than they have operators available. Calls may be received between 7am and 9pm, 7 days a week. It is not unusual to receive three to five calls per day.

The best way to stop those calls is to register your phone number on the Federal Trade Commission's National Do Not Call Registry. Federal Do Not Call laws allow you to place residential landline and wireless phone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry to prevent telemarketing calls to those numbers. If you would like to add your numbers to this list, you may do so by calling 1-888-382-1222, or by visiting www.donotcall.gov. Some states provide their own No Call List. Please contact your State Attorney General for details.

Please note that being on a federal or state Do Not Call list will not keep CenturyLink customers from receiving our marketing calls because we have an established business relationship with our customers.

Residential customers who do not want to receive our marketing telephone calls may ask to be placed on our internal Do Not Call list. If a current CenturyLink customer does not want to receive our marketing calls, the customer must expressly tell us not to call by getting on our internal Do Not Call list by clicking here. You can also contact the Business Office number found on your CenturyLink bill, or find contact phone numbers on CenturyLink.com.

It may take up to thirty days for your choices regarding marketing contacts to become effective. If you are our customer, you will still receive bills, service related contacts and notices from CenturyLink even if you choose not to receive marketing contacts.

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Who do I call to stop telemarketing calls?

Federal Do Not Call laws allow you to place residential landline and wireless phone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry to prevent telemarketing calls to those numbers. If you would like to add your numbers to this list, you may do so by calling 1-888-382-1222, or by visiting www.donotcall.gov.

Please note that being on a federal or state Do Not Call list will not keep CenturyLink customers from receiving our marketing calls because we have an established business relationship with our customers.

Residential customers who do not want to receive CenturyLink marketing telephone calls may ask to be placed on our internal Do Not Call list. If a current CenturyLink customer does not want to receive our marketing calls, the customer must expressly tell us not to call by getting on our internal Do Not Call list by clicking here. You can also contact the Business Office number found on your CenturyLink bill, or find contact phone numbers on CenturyLink.com.

It may take up to thirty days for your choices regarding marketing contacts from CenturyLink to become effective. If you are our customer, you will still receive bills, service related contacts and notices from CenturyLink even if you choose not to receive marketing contacts.

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What can I do about debt collection calls?

If you are wrongfully receiving debt collection calls, please contact the Federal Trade Commission's Fair Debt Collection Department at 877-382-4357.

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Can I block callers?

Call blocking is a feature that may be placed on your telephone number. The CenturyLink Law Enforcement Support team is not able to add features. Call blocking is not available in all areas. For assistance with the call blocking feature, or any other feature, please speak to a CenturyLink customer service representative for more information. Contact the Business Office number found on your CenturyLink bill, or find contact phone numbers on CenturyLink.com.

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How do I get copies of my bill?

You can obtain your billing information in various ways:

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Who do I call if I received a call from a missing person?

Always contact your local Law Enforcement Agency and they will contact CenturyLink for assistance.

In addition to contacting Law Enforcement, you may consider CenturyLink's Call Trace feature. Click here for more information about Call Trace.

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What should I do if I suspect my telephone is being tapped?

If you suspect your telephone or Internet conversation is being illegally monitored (wiretapped), please contact CenturyLink Repair department by calling the Repair number found on your billing statement or in your directory. You can also open a Repair ticket online via CenturyLink.com or My Account. Repair will log your concern and a technician will evaluate your line.

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Who can I contact about identity theft or fraud related to my CenturyLink service?

The CenturyLink Fraud Management Operations Center is committed to eliminating revenue losses due to fraud through investigation, education, and policy enforcement, acting ethically and with integrity. The fraud team aggressively researches solutions to emerging fraud trends by determining the root cause and implementing preventative measures affecting process and/or policy changes.

If you are a customer and wish to report fraud related to your CenturyLink service or to report a fraudulent incident, please contact the Business Office number found on your CenturyLink bill, in your local telephone directory, or find contact phone numbers on CenturyLink.com.

You can also email the fraud organization at CenturyLink.fraud@CenturyLink.com.

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Who do I call if I want to report theft of a telecom service?

Always contact your local Law Enforcement Agency and they will contact CenturyLink for assistance.

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How do I find the Service Provider for a telephone number?

Telcodata is a website that will locate the name of the Telecommunication Service Provider when provided with an area code and prefix. This site will also break down the area code and prefix on "pooled numbers" which are numbers split between several different service providers. For example, 720-287 is pooled between 4 different service providers. Telcodata will show which Service Provider handles each pooled set of numbers.

Telcodata is not maintained by CenturyLink. CenturyLink cannot ensure the accuracy of the results provided by Telcodata.

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Where do I report a damage incident related to CenturyLink services?

UNIcall, 866-864-2255, is the risk incident notification network for CenturyLink. UNIcall may be used by customers in the following circumstances:

  • Report damage to a customer's property.
  • Report damage caused by the public to CenturyLink's property including: phone lines, poles, cables, boxes, facilities.
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All subpoenas issued in civil cases must be served on CenturyLink's registered agent for service of process, CT Corporation. CT Corporation is authorized to accept subpoenas on behalf of any CenturyLink entity registered to do business by the secretaries of state. You may visit your Secretary of State website for more information. You may also contact CT Corporation at 1-800-624-0909 or visit their website at http://ct.wolterskluwer.com/ctcorporation.

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What kinds of records are available to a customer?
  • Bill Statements

    A customer can obtain copies of their billing statements for the most recent 12 months by going online at CenturyLink.com and logging into My Account. If you require statements older than 12 months, CenturyLink can provide copies of bill statements with proper customer authorization. Applicable fees may apply.

    For additional assistance, speak with a CenturyLink customer service representative by contacting the Business Office number found on your CenturyLink bill. Contact numbers are also listed on CenturyLink.com and My Account.

    NO information about other CenturyLink customers will be released without a subpoena or court order specifically requesting the above information. Please see our Third Party Requestor FAQs webpage section, "What kinds of records are available to a third party?"

  • Call Trace Results (*57)

    Once you have traced a call, contact your local Law Enforcement Agency. The trace results will only be released with a subpoena or court order. A successful trace will include the phone number captured and if that phone number is serviced by CenturyLink, the name and address of the subscriber will be released. If your Law Enforcement Agency has any questions regarding this process, please have them call the CenturyLink Law Enforcement Support team at 877-451-1980.

    For additional information about Call Trace, see our FAQ "Who do I contact if I want to report threatening, abusive, or obscene calls?"

  • Internet Protocol (IP) Subscriber Information

    Internet Protocol information may include the name, address, associated phone number, user ID and time logs of the assigned CenturyLink customer. CenturyLink cannot process requests for IP subscriber information without being provided an exact date, time and time zone. Please note that NO information will be released without a subpoena, court order, or other legal demand specifically requesting this information. Applicable fees may apply.

  • Local Call Detail

    CenturyLink customers are charged for dial tone, not per call; therefore local call detail will not appear on your bill.

    Records of local calls are not maintained in the normal course of business. To attempt to retrieve local call detail, CenturyLink must perform an extensive search of raw switch data and then attempt to assemble the relevant data into a report that can be understood by the requesting party. There is no guarantee that any particular local call record will be obtained. Applicable fees apply to any requesting party, including Law Enforcement agencies because this is data that is not maintained in the normal course of CenturyLink's business. NO information will be released without a subpoena, court order, or other legal demand specifically requesting this information.

  • Payment

    Payment information may include records of bank, credit card or electronic fund transfer payments. Your payment information can be found in your online CenturyLink My Account. For further assistance, please speak with a CenturyLink customer service representative by contacting the Business Office number found on your CenturyLink bill. Contact numbers are also listed on CenturyLink.com and My Account.

    Payment information can also be procured from your financial institution.

  • Subscriber

    Subscriber, or customer, information may include customer name, physical address, billing address, account start date, account end date, current account status, associated numbers, authorized users, types of services, email addresses and/or balance information. A customer may obtain this information about their own account, much of which is available on MyAccount. For additional assistance, speak with a CenturyLink customer service representative by contacting the Business Office number found on your CenturyLink bill. Contact numbers are also listed on CenturyLink.com and My Account.

    NO information about other CenturyLink customers will be released without a subpoena or court order specifically requesting the above information. Please see our third party FAQs webpage section, "What kinds of records are available to a third party?"

  • Toll / Long Distance Call Detail

    An itemized list of outgoing toll/long distance calls, incoming collect calls, calling cards or third party billed calls may be available on your billing statement. If you have an unlimited long distance plan, an itemized list may not appear on your billing statement, however the records may appear on MyAccount via CenturyLink.com. CenturyLink can provide available toll records of outgoing call detail with proper customer authorization. Applicable fees may apply.

    Prior to billing, CenturyLink may not be able to provide all information that will ultimately appear on the customer's billing statement.

    For additional assistance, speak with a CenturyLink customer service representative by contacting the Business Office number found on your CenturyLink bill. Contact numbers are also listed on CenturyLink.com and My Account.

    NO information about other CenturyLink customers will be released without a subpoena or court order specifically requesting the above information. Please see our third party FAQs webpage section, "What kinds of records are available to a third party?"

  • Voice Messaging

    You can access your voice-mail messages as long as you have not deleted them. CenturyLink cannot retrieve voice-mail messages once they have been deleted, or if your service has been disconnected. For further assistance, please speak with a CenturyLink customer service representative by contacting the Business Office number found on your CenturyLink bill. Contact numbers are also listed on CenturyLink.com and My Account.

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What time frames are various records available?

Generally, CenturyLink's data retention guidelines are as follows, although these guidelines are subject to multiple conditions:

  • Billing Systems data – 6 years plus current year.
  • Call Detail records – 1 year minimum.
  • Internet IP Address information – Rolling 12 months.
  • Long Distance billing records – 6 years plus current year.
  • Voice Messages – Current messages are available based on certain dependencies e.g. if account has not been disconnected, or the message has not been deleted.
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What are the fees, if any, for Law Enforcement Support assistance?

CenturyLink charges fees for the collection of data simply to cover the cost of complying with court orders, subpoenas or other legal demands. Most of the fees charged do not compensate CenturyLink for the total cost of compliance. The fee schedule can be found here.

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What are the Law Enforcement Support team's hours of operation?

CenturyLink's Law Enforcement Support team's hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm Central time, excluding holidays.

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There are a number of legal processes that require CenturyLink to respond with information concerning customer accounts and activity. The most common types include:

  • Civil Subpoena

    A Civil Subpoena is a discovery request for information used in civil proceedings between private parties. Civil subpoenas may be issued by the attorneys representing the parties in the case. Although there is no legal obligation, it is CenturyLink's general practice to provide notice to its customers of any civil subpoena requesting the customer's information in order to provide the customer with an opportunity to file an objection in the court where the civil case is filed.

  • Criminal Subpoena/Search Warrant

    A Criminal Subpoena, or Search Warrant, is a discovery request for information in criminal investigations or formal proceedings. Most criminal subpoenas/search warrants are signed off on by a judge after a review of the law enforcement agency's application. A court case does not have to be filed prior to the issuance of an investigative subpoena or search warrant. Often, an investigatory subpoena will contain an order that the customer cannot be notified of the request for information.

  • Court Order

    A Court Order is an order issued by a judge presiding over a civil or criminal case demanding information be released to the court. Court orders are required for the release of the “content” (i.e., information contained in emails or web site visits, wiretaps, etc.) of a customer's communication.

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No, CenturyLink can neither provide more information about a subpoena itself nor provide legal advice to you regarding any objections or questions you may have. Please consult with an attorney for legal assistance.

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A copyright owner may serve a subpoena on a service provider, like CenturyLink, requesting the identity of a customer alleged to be infringing on the owner's copyright by, for example, illegally downloading a movie to the customer's computer. The subpoena is issued by the clerk of any United States District Court upon a request by the copyright owner, or one authorized to act on the copyright owner's behalf.

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When CenturyLink is served a Copyright subpoena requesting identifying information on a particular IP address or addresses, CenturyLink is a third party to the subpoena, meaning we are required to provide certain information requested by the federal court. CenturyLink's practice is to notify our affected customers as a courtesy of possible future litigation. Once we provide the information to the federal court, CenturyLink has completed its legal requirement in the matter.

An example of what prompts a subpoena to be served on CenturyLink as a third party would be a production company suspecting illegal downloads of movies or music. They supply CenturyLink, as well as other Internet Service Providers, lists of IP addresses that logged onto various shared file sites. The plaintiff, in this example, the production company, is trying to identify individuals via IP addresses, who are suspected of alleged downloading of movies or music in an illegal manner. The production company's motivation is to recover lost royalties as they were not compensated for the downloaded product.

When CenturyLink is served a Copyright subpoena, CenturyLink is required by law to provide the following specifics to the requesting federal court:

  • Account number
  • Connection logs, meaning date and time when the IP assigned to an account, as provided by the production company, logged in and then logged out (was issued and released).
  • User name associated with the account
  • Customer information (e.g. name, address, telephone number)

If you received a notification of a Copyright subpoena, you may decide to file an objection with the federal court (e.g. a motion to ‘quash'). If you wish to do so, contact the appropriate federal court named on the letter prior to the due date specified on the CenturyLink notification. Objections must be filed with the appropriate federal court; CenturyLink cannot assist with the filing. Contact the court clerk for information on filing the motion. The court, case name, and case number are provided in the notification.

Also notify CenturyLink Law Enforcement Support team of your objection prior to the date specified in the notification letter sent to you by calling 877-451-1980. Be prepared to leave a message including your name, call back number, and a CenturyLink case number, if available. A team member will return your call within 1 business day.

Simply raising an objection with CenturyLink will not prevent the release of your information. CenturyLink can only withhold information with proper notification from the federal court if they rule in favor of your objection.

CenturyLink cannot provide more information about the subpoena itself and CenturyLink cannot provide legal advice to you regarding any objections you may have. Please consult with an attorney for legal assistance.

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CenturyLink is firmly committed to protecting your privacy.

However, as stated in the notification letter sent by CenturyLink, CenturyLink received a subpoena which legally requires us to produce the information requested on the date specified. CenturyLink has no basis upon which to withhold the information or object to the subpoena on your behalf.

If you have objections to the subpoena requesting information about you, you must file your objections directly with the federal court handling the case, and notify the CenturyLink Law Enforcement Support team of your objection prior to the date specified in the notification letter sent to you. The court, case name, and case number are provided in the letter.

For specific filing or process questions, please speak to the clerk of the court specified. Notify the CenturyLink Law Enforcement Support team of your objection prior to the date specified in the notification letter sent to you by calling 877-451-1980. Be prepared to leave a message including your name, call back number, and a CenturyLink case number, if available. A team member will return your call within 1 business day.

CenturyLink cannot provide more information about the subpoena itself and CenturyLink cannot provide legal advice to you regarding any objections you may have. Please consult with an attorney for legal assistance.

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How can I find out about the status of a subpoena?

To determine the status of a subpoena, please call 877-451-1980 and follow the menu options. Please be prepared to include your name, a call back number, and a CenturyLink case number if available. We will return your call within 1 business day.

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What is the Digital Millennium Copyright act or DMCA?

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which is also known as the DMCA, was enacted by Congress in 1998 to help service providers (like CenturyLink) and copyright owners deal with some of the legal challenges created by digital media on the Internet. Among other things, the DMCA established guidelines and processes for copyright owners to send notices of alleged copyright violations to service providers. The notice identifies a particular copyright offense that is alleged to have occurred, the date and time of the activity, and the internet protocol (IP) address of the network or system on which the activity occurred. You can find the U.S. Copyright Office's summary of the DMCA at http://www.loc.gov/copyright/legislation/dmca.pdf.

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A DMCA notice is provided for informational purposes only when CenturyLink is advised under the DMCA customers may have violated established guidelines. Under a DMCA notice none of your personal information will be released to a third party.

When you receive a notification of a subpoena from CenturyLink, it means that your subscriber information has been requested in a civil lawsuit and that CenturyLink is required to release that information if you do not file an objection with the court.

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CenturyLink respects your privacy and will only provide information about you to a copyright owner in response to a subpoena or court order. If we receive a subpoena requesting information about your account, such as your name and address, our usual policy is to provide you advance notice and the opportunity to object to the disclosure with the court.

If you have additional questions about how we use, share, and protect the information we gather about our customers in the provision of our services, please reference our Privacy Policy.

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If I am using a wireless router, how do I protect my network?

If you connect wirelessly, CenturyLink strongly recommends securing your wireless modem with an encryption protocol to prevent unauthorized users from using your internet connection. CenturyLink provides specific instructions for securing devices at http://qwest.centurylink.com/internethelp/modems.html.

You can find additional information about wireless encryption types and CenturyLink recommendations here: http://qwest.centurylink.com/internethelp/security-articles.html.

If you need additional assistance configuring your device or securing your wireless connection, you may contact technical support through online chat, email, or phone. Our contact information is available at: http://qwest.centurylink.com/residential/customerService/contactus/internet.html.

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Does CenturyLink track internet content?

CenturyLink uses information generated on our networks to manage, plan, and develop networks, and to ensure reliability and efficiency of those networks. For example, we monitor data to check for viruses, control spam, prevent attacks that might disable our services, ensure traffic does not violate our subscriber agreements or our acceptable use policies, and guard against other inappropriate or illegal activity. This may involve looking at the characteristics of our network traffic, such as traffic volumes, beginning and ending points of transmissions, and the types of applications being used to send traffic across our network.

In limited circumstances, we need to look into the content of the data (such as the specific websites being visited, files being transmitted, or applications being used) for the purposes described above. We may also look into the content of the data when CenturyLink is concerned about fraud or harassment, to repair a detected problem, or when we are providing the content of broadband traffic to Law Enforcement when required and authorized by law.

Most of the specific information we obtain that is attributable to a user is kept only for a matter of hours or days. We may retain data for longer if, for example, we see patterns in the traffic that give us concerns about potential harm to our network, or if we are doing a specific study on the impact of certain applications used on our networks. We also may retain logs of the total amount of data transmitted, and the date, time, and duration of access to the Internet through our services by a user, including the user's IP address at the time.

For more information, visit CenturyLink's Privacy Policy.

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What is the difference between a Dynamic and a Static IP Address?

Dynamic IP Addresses change every time a user connects to the CenturyLink network. The majority of CenturyLink customers have Dynamic IP addresses. IP addresses are not specific to a certain city or state. The customer may be issued any IP address that is assigned to the switch's service area. The switch may cover multiple cities and states.

Static IP Addresses remain the same and are typically used by Large Businesses or Government Entities.

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If I know the IP Address, how do I find the Internet Service Provider?

You can access the American Registry of Internet Numbers (ARIN) website to identify the Internet Service Provider of an IP address. Use the ‘Search WHOISRWS function located on the top of ARIN's home page.

ARIN is not maintained by CenturyLink. CenturyLink cannot ensure the accuracy of the results provided by ARIN.

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How can I contact the Law Enforcement Support team if I still have questions?

If you have a question, please call 877-451-1980, and listen to the options presented. You will have to leave a message with your name, contact number, and reason for calling. Also include as much detailed information as possible, such as a CenturyLink case number or telephone number of interest, so we may quickly address your concerns. CenturyLink's Law Enforcement Support team will return your call within 1 business day.

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